Can Minimalism Work for Private Practice Websites?

18 Apr 2014

Copyright 2014 by Deah Curry PhD


Google's current seeming preference for web pages with 700-1000 words creates a problem for  private practice professionals who prefer a minimalist aesthetic.



It also challenges website visitors who may have a bit of reader attention deficit. Such visitors want to immediately see what they are seeking without having to read a long, rambling narrative.  So how can both Google and potential clients be satisfied with such opposing needs?



I'm testing a theory.  And using this website to do it.


Blogging is more important than ever.  It used to be optional.  It's not a choice anymore if you want to fill your practice.



Blogging satisfies Google on two counts -- constantly fresh content, and length.  Blog posts can be shorter -- 450-600 words.  



Posts with pictures get read and circulated on social media more than those without, according to a recent webinar sponsored by Constant Contact. Google likes it a lot when your blog posts are shared.  It helps your traffic and your authority in Google's eyes. And Wix provides lots of free photos you can use.



Blogs with your video message might be easier to produce than writing for some.  Okay, to be honest, you won't see me on a video anytime soon, but I might post a narrated slide show or PowToons that will suffice.



Minimalist but Structured Marketing Message Might Work IF:


  • it follows a decision making sequence

  • it creates an emotional connection

  • the reader feels seen and heard

  • it's targeted to the problems of your ideal client

  • niche specialty pages address separate audiences

  • you know what your reader is seeking and give it to them



Length Can Appear Minimal


I'll share some of my secrets now.  Long web pages, marketing messages, articles and blog can feel shorter with the right formatting.



Where lots of professionals in the healing arts lose readers is in run on sentences. And lots of academic sounding jargon.  



Keep sentences to less than 10 words when possible.  Break paragraphs after the second or third sentence.  Triple space between paragraphs.



Use bullet lists or number lists that readers can skim through. They'll want to read more.



Don't try to impress people with how smart you are.  Impress them with how easy your writing is to understand.



Don't over think your writing.  Pose a question that can be your headline. Then just answer it. Break up the paragraphs with subheads and lists.



Then stop writing. You don't need summary paragraphs and obvious conclusions.



This blog post is 408 words long, not counting the copyright line, and this note.  With those, 429.


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Why I've Retired

It's possible this will come as a surprise to you -- it certainly has snuck on me that I'm well past retirement age. Over the last year or so, my heart has been pulled in other directions, and while I still love the creative aspects of website design, I want to use my time making a life rather than devoting my energies to making a living. So I plan to travel, attend writers' retreats, work on learning to take good iPhone photos, and just be open to where my spirit guides take me. I have also stepped back from my esoteric work for 2020, and who knows what the future holds for that.

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